Unlocking Potential: The Foreword – Jane Hart’s Response
Jane Hart is a well-regarded international speaker and writer on modern approaches to workplace learning. Here’s what she had to say about Towards Maturity’s latest Learning Benchmark Report, Unlocking Potential.
In 2016 the world of work is changing rapidly and the learning professionals that support today’s organisations are slowly waking up to the fact that we can’t just train colleagues once and then retain them for life. Their work needs to move away from ‘pushing’ programmes and ‘organising’ initiatives for people to thinking about how people are really learning in the modern world and how to support them on a continuous basis.
Helping organisations to do just that has been the focus of my work for 25 years. For the last 10 of those, I have been an active supporter of the Towards Maturity Benchmark, as it has tracked the extent to which organisations have been successful in achieving this goal. It is encouraging that people professionals have become painfully aware that learning is no longer about the course, but about cultivating a continuous learning mindset. However, it is also alarming that, for many, this awareness is not leading to action, let alone results.
That is why I welcome this year’s Learning Benchmark Report, Unlocking Potential, and its use of detailed analytics to identify the step-by-step actions that L&D professionals need to take in order to support the agile workforce needed in the future. This year, their new analysis has identified a number of actions that, in my experience, all L&D leaders need to be aware of in order to support modern workplace learning.
It pinpoints the critical role of managers and the extent to which successful organisations are working with the wider enterprise to support learning at work. It also highlights the importance of understanding how staff actually learn in the workplace with Top Deck learning teams three times more likely than the rest of their peers to be proactive in this area.
What’s more, Unlocking Potential is peppered with real insights from 5,000 workers challenging the perceptions of the readers to think differently about workplace learning.
The fact that almost two-thirds of learning leaders report that staff lack skills to manage their own learning and line managers are reluctant to encourage new ways of learning confirms that change is needed to tackle these important issues.
Unlocking Potential shows whilst L&D teams are using more technology than ever before, it is not enough. Most are just using the tools to tweak and modify their original approaches. Cutting courses into tiny pieces does not equal performance support. Social learning is much more than adding a discussion forum into a course.
It is clear that the high performing learning organisations are challenging the status quo head on.
They are prepared to go the extra mile, they are constantly listening to and trusting their workers. It is encouraging to see that they are predominantly led by true learning leaders who also have a passion for learning, for experimenting and taking risks to support business and individual performance.
The detailed analysis in Unlocking Potential identifies the step-by-step actions that L&D professionals need to take to support the agile workforce needed in the future.
Unlocking Potential highlights that those leaders who are taking action are also making the biggest impact on what matters most to their business leaders – improved agility, customer loyalty and retention.
Learning professionals today are hungry for change but many are overwhelmed. This report helps break down the vision for truly integrating learning and work into practical steps. However, there are no cookie cutter solutions! The data presented provides readers with a confidence and security to identify what needs to happen next. Whilst the Top Deck may use evidence to guide their thinking, they show us that their results come because they trust their gut and trial out new ideas. This report will help you unlock your potential as a learning leader, but your success will result not from rigidly replicating what others have done, but from being bold and courageous – doing things differently for yourself!
Jane Hart is a well-regarded international speaker and writer on modern approaches to workplace learning. Jane is also the Founder of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies (C4LPT), one of the world’s most visited learning sites on the Web and author of the Social Learning Handbook and Modern Workplace Learning.
Benchmark Your L&D Strategy
At Towards Maturity, we have identified six workstreams that characterise successful, high performing organisations. From these workstreams, we have developed a common framework of effective practice.
Benchmarking against that framework helps L&D pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of their own organisation, work out what needs to change and map out actions. In short, the Towards Maturity Benchmark is a structured framework that helps learning leaders under pressure identify the actions that will bring tangible results in the workplace. It helps you to work out how to get from A to B!
Having clear evidence is a vital starting point in identifying where improvement is needed and backing up your business case for change. We spoke with Emma Smith, Head of Talent at FirstPort Limited, a residential property management company. She had used the Towards Maturity Learning Health Check in a previous role and has now brought this tool to her new organisation in order to help transform their workplace learning culture.
Towards Maturity Learning Health Check provides an ideal starting point for organisations wanting to improve their development, by giving clear evidence and comparisons with high-performing learning cultures. To get a real idea of how the Health Check has a proven business impact, we spoke with Robin Lilly, Capabilities and Leadership Development Director of Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company, to hear his experiences.
The L&D profession is under pressure to transform and become future-fit in order to stay ahead of the demands of work and workers. The profession is finding it hard to influence and allow their expertise to gain traction, with 78% of L&D professionals saying that their leaders have traditional expectations of L&D that are difficult to challenge.
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Today, over 98% of organisations are on a mission to transform the impact of their learning strategy and the majority of L&D leaders are focusing on accelerating digital because they believe it holds the key to help more people increase their performance.
In 2018, 93% of learning practitioners wanted to increase employee engagement with learning, but only 27% were successful. With less than a third meeting this goal, it is important to explore how an exemplar organisation turned their learning strategy on its head to achieve just that. Read more about how Mitchells & Butlers teamed up with Kineo to become Gold award winners at Learning Technologies Awards 2018.
With only 21% of learning professionals successfully harmonising learning across their organisation, it is clear that whatever methods we are using at present to take learning to scale are largely failing.